Chapter 4: There’s no Real Choice when Fate has already Spun Her Threads

Soft jazz literally echoed across the wine bar as the waves hit the massive chandelier made of flutes and coupes of all kinds and sizes that hung by the mezzanine. Ellie had always wondered how stable the structure was. The light reflected well against the hundreds of glasses – well enough to compensate for the darker atmosphere of the room, created by the leather couches and black tables. The wooden bars had an onyx finish. Long opaque curtains fell from the second story all the way to the bottom floor.

Ellie kept playing footsie by herself – her new shoes were too tight. “Please tell me why we need to wear heels,” she asked.

“We don’t really, we just do,” Myriam answered after a moment of reflection.

“I’d do a lot for sneakers now.”

The wine menu was extensive – which made all the sense considering they were in a wine bar. Both women gave up on looking through the booklet halfway through.

“He can pick for us,” Myriam gestured at the approaching waiter – who gratefully obliged and promised to come back with good wine.

Aromas of grapes matured in dark cherry oak barrels tickled their nostrils.

“Do you smell it,” asked Ellie.

“I just smell… red wine. I won’t lie.” Myriam swirled the liquid around her glass once more. “Here cheers me. To you and Ireland!”

Their glasses clunk-ed. They drank a big sip. Ellie eyed her coworker.

“Hmm… can I ask you something?” She paused for an idea of politeness. “Why did you pick me for the transfer? You were part of the discussion, no?”

Myriam shuffled, “quite honestly, there wasn’t much of a discussion. We will open up the position for whomever wants it if you refuse.”

“So you unanimously agreed to ship me off.” Ellie nodded, “I see how it is.”

Myriam laughed at her candor. “You just seemed like the logical candidate. You’re good and you have a good work ethic.” She paused, “Plus, when we mentioned your name, Max seemed eager. Do you know him?”

Ellie looked at Myriam, silent as she computed the information. “Max…” She was literally buffering.

“Max, the manager at the Dublin branch - we’ve been coordinating with him for the transfer,” Myriam suggested.

Something in Ellie’s brain finally clicked, “Oh! Max! Yeah, he’s friends with my brother. We met when he was here for a semester abroad.”

“Well yeah, he seemed happy to hear you’d be interested,” Myriam finished off her glass, and cast Ellie a side glance. “Is he as sexy as he sounds and looks in his Skype picture?”

“I wouldn’t know as I do not have him on Skype.” Ellie laughed at Myriam’s annoyed look. “Yeah, he’s quite good-looking from what I remember from university, I won’t lie.” She looked up his Facebook profile page on her phone and showed an appreciative Myriam.

The waiter approached them and asked if they wanted another glass. Myriam asked him if they had any Irish wine, “for my friend here who’s moving soon?”

“I haven’t made up my mind just yet! But yes, do you have some?”

The waiter stared at the two girls a bit before hesitantly answering: “I don’t think the Irish make much wine…”

“Blasphemy.” Ellie’s eyes were round with shock that could be mistaken as sarcasm.

As Myriam burst out laughing, she gave the waiter a smile: “I like wine! But in any case, give us some more of the same - it was delicious. I love that dark cherry oak taste.” She wondered if her sarcasm was too obvious when Myriam stifled a laugh.

-

Dim lights set the mood, scented candles diffused a vanilla odour throughout the apartment. Ellie sat covered in a blanket on her couch, staring at her laptop. The herbal tea laid untouched on her table. She had set out to ponder the pros and cons of moving to Dublin but had quickly wandered into the darker sides of the Internet and YouTube, looking up videos of creepy, unsolved mysteries and ghost stories.

It was only after a compelling video about the Hellfire Club in Dublin that Ellie realized it was past midnight and she had not given moving abroad any thought. Time had flown by. But it was late and she needed her sleep, perhaps her dreams would enlighten her, she thought. After making sure the front door was locked, she blew off the candle and jumped into bed. The only thing she dreamed about was ghostbusters.